Jorge Grant’s unknowing Hearts Scottish Cup final preview as new recruit opens up on transfer


Jorge Grant sat in a beach bar watching the Scottish Cup final and had no idea he’d be playing for one of the teams involved just over a month later.

The attacking midfielder signed a three-year deal with Hearts yesterday after jetting out to join up with the Jambos on their pre-season training camp in Spain after joining a list that already includes Alan Forrest, Lewis Neilson, Kye Rowles and Alex Cochrane. Grant is Robbie Neilson’s fifth summer signing after getting the big sell on a visit to Edinburgh last week.

That made up his mind, but Grant first got a sense of what he’ll be in for when he watched the extra-time defeat to Rangers at Hampden. He said: “I just knew it was a massive club with a massive fan base. The amount of messages I got yesterday morning, people speaking to me and welcoming me to the club. It’s been very nice, the lads have made me feel welcome too.

“I actually watched the cup final when I was abroad with one of my friends, so I know the standard of the club. That drew me to it as well.

“I didn’t know at that point. We were just sat at a beach club and it was on TV so we ended up watching it. It’s unfortunate for the lads how it ended but the manager told me Hearts have been in three of the last four cup finals. That just shows how a big a club this is.”

Grant knew his time was up at London Road this summer after Posh put him on the transfer list. But the £750,000 release fee in his contract meant a move was never going to be straight forward.

The offer Hearts had accepted was lower, with Peterborough director of football explaining to Record Sport last week why the club were willing to waive their right to that cash. For that is grateful.

“It’s been on the cards for ages and ages now, so it’s just nice to get it done,” he said. “About a month ago, my agent spoke to me when I was at Peterborough. They put me on the transfer list so we kind of knew that this summer, we’d attract some interest with it being publicized.

Jorge Grant during Hearts training

“So it was quite early on, which was nice. Knowing a club wants you is a nice feeling. I came up last week. it’s a massive club so straight away it drew my interest. I could have stayed at many League One teams and done the same thing I’ve done all my career. That’s why I;ve taken this opportunity.

“I came up last Monday and met the manager, met Joe [Savage], went round the stadium, the training ground and saw the city. From that moment on, I knew that I’d be signing. I’m just glad it’s all done.

“It was tough last season because towards the back end, I didn’t play at all. Them then asking for a high fee would’ve pretty much made it impossible, so I have to thank them for dropping the fee down a lot. It’s helped me out and helped them out as a club, because they’ve got money for me.”

Used in a deeper role by Peterborough, Robbie Neilson has brought Grant in to supply the ammunition further forward. A set piece specialist and something of a penalty expert, making and scoring goals will be the aim of the game in maroon.

“After the initial interest he gave me a call, which was nice,” said Grant. “It’s nice to know the manager wants you. I have explained what the club was like and how it works, plus the way the team plays. I felt that fitted in well with me. He wants me to bring quality to the team, bring that quality in the final third and try to help get goals and assists.

“At the start of my career I played wide midfield, played on the left a lot, and as I’ve got older I’ve developed. I can play wide, I can play No.10, I can play No.8 and holding midfield as well. I think that’s a good thing for me that I’m versatile and can play different positions. That’s one of my strengths.

“I do think I’m more effective when I’m close to the goal. I can obviously be involved in the game a lot in midfield but I’m more effective in the final third.”

Thankfully for Grant, he won’t be facing goalkeepers of Craig Gordon’s quality every Saturday, after getting an early introduction to the Scotland number one: “I trained on Monday and the levels are good,” he said.

“A couple of times I’m thinking I’m scoring and the keepers are just pulling out top-drawer saves. The lads have spoken about him and said how good he was last year as well. I can tell the quality already.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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